We propose you the guide of India: discovering the country of colors and mysticism. All the information to know.
India is a country full of wonders, a continent more than a nation. So vast to be still not entirely explored. An astonishing nature, an ancient culture, an overwhelming spirituality, the sumptuous monuments and the hospitality of the Indians will make you fall hopelessly in love with India.
India has an area of 3,287,263 km ², bordered to the north by China, Nepal and Bhutan, to the east by Bangladesh and Burma (Myanmar), to the west by Pakistan. Much of its territory is surrounded by the Indian Ocean, to the east it is called the Bay of Bengal and to the west the Arabian Sea.
With its cities and landscapes rich in mysticism and spirituality, India is a magical country. A country of ancient traditions, catapulted into modernity by a few decades. Soon it could surpass China in terms of number of inhabitants, due to its unstoppable demographic growth.
In India, among places never seen before and unthinkable for a Westerner, you will be welcomed by kind inhabitants, always with a smile on their lips, dressed in colorful clothes. A country full of contrasts, where cordial hospitality is counterbalanced by the danger and violence of some areas. Alongside rich cities projected towards the future, almost primitive customs still coexist, especially in rural areas. A country where, despite modernity, there is still a strong division into castes. An extraordinary place, however, to see at least once in life.
Here we offer you our guide to India, taking you to discover its most beautiful places, true wonders that will leave you breathless. Here’s what you need to know.
Spirituality and mysticism still play a crucial role in India, where multiple religious cults intersect. From Hinduism, which is prevalent, to Islam. Passing through Christianity, in the Catholic and Anglican confessions, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism and numerous forms of animism. In India, prayer and meditation are the basis of the culture of an entire country. It is not for nothing that Indians invented Yoga, an ascetic and meditative discipline, which today in Western cultures is practiced also and above all as a physical activity.
After all, everything in India is imbued with a strong spirituality. Not only in the monuments and temples built by man, but also in the natural landscape itself, from the coasts of the Bay of Bengal, to the rivers, above all the Ganges, to the jungle and the mountains. Everything invites reflection and meditation. Famous is the trip that the Beatles made to India in the ’60s, in search of a new spiritual dimension and inspiration. An influence that spilled over into their music following this experience.
India, country of green valleys, rolling hills, mystical rivers, sacred mountains, temples carved out of rock and cities teeming with life, business, trade and relationships.
Making a list of things to see in India is a very difficult task. This country offers so much, to visitors of all types. Whether you’re looking for chaotic cities and markets, historical monuments, dreamy natural landscapes, places of spirituality, modernity or tradition, you’ll find it all here. A country chaotic and quiet at the same time, where you can be overwhelmed by the kaleidoscope of colors of nature, the sparkling and kistch cities, the magnificent temples and especially the beautiful saris of Indian women. Just to the colors is dedicated a very special festival: the Holi Festival which is celebrated especially in northern India.
Monuments and sacred places
Among the most famous monuments, symbol of India, there is certainly the Taj Mahal, situated in northern India, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, in the city of Agra. It is a mausoleum built in 1632 to house the remains of a princess, Mumtaz Mahal, whose name was Arjumand Banu Begum, wife of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The building is a tomb and mosque complex and is considered one of the greatest beauties of Muslim architecture. In 2007 The Taj Mahal was listed as one of the new seven wonders of the world. The monument is located less than 3 km from another architectural masterpiece: Red Fort of Agra. Both are Unesco World Heritage Sites.
Among the wonders of India are the striking temples carved into the rock. Archaeological sites that in caves and caverns carved by man hide treasures and ancient sculptural and pictorial works of rare beauty.
A visit to the sacred places of the country must absolutely include a stop in Varanasi. The suggestive Indian city with the staircase overlooking the Ganges River, also known as Benares.
It is one of the oldest cities in the world, inhabited for at least 3,500 years. Varanasi is the Sacred City for Hindus. Every Hindu at least once in his life must go to Varanasi and from its stone stairways bathe in the waters of the sacred river Ganges. Ablutions must be done by each person from at least 5 different flights of stairs (called ghats). The ritual begins early in the morning, at dawn. The best spot for tourists to witness this ceremony is from a boat on river. Besides the ancient and picturesque Varanasi. There are many cities in India to visit. The largest, the capital New Delhi, and Mumbai (formerly Bombay) are gigantic metropolises with vast urban areas inhabited by millions of people. The metropolitan area of New Delhi is inhabited by over 21 million people. Here there is the seat of government, the great Palace of Parliament, buildings and monuments of great dimensions. It is part of the federated territory of Delh in northern India. Among the monuments to see in the area are: Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India, the Red Fort of Delhi, the Tomb of Safdarjung.
Mumbai, is since 1995 the official name of the old city of Bombay, so called by the Portuguese colonists, a name later kept by the British. It is the capital of the central-western state of Maharashtra. It has a population of almost 12 and a half million inhabitants and is the first city in the world for population density, with the beauty of 31,214.47 inhabitants per square km. Mumbai is the commercial capital and the home of the Indian film industry, nicknamed Bollywood (a fusion of the words Bombay and Hollywood). The Indian film industry is the largest in the world in terms of production and distribution of films across the vast Indian territory.
Mumbai is home to one of the oldest and busiest railway stations in the country, the Chhatrapati Shivaji, an imposing and eccentric neo-Gothic-Victorian style building, completed in 1897, which incorporates elements of Venetian and Indian architecture. Also worth seeing in Mumbai is the Gateway of India, a colonial monument formed by a huge yellow basalt arch, about 26 meters high. It was built to welcome King George V on his visit to the city in 1911. Today it is n symbol of the city and a meeting point, with many clubs in the area.
Calcutta, in eastern India, is the capital of the state of West Bengal. It is characterized by the still very evident signs of British colonial rule. Among the main monuments there is the Victoria Memorial, a building constructed in memory of Queen Victoria. We also recommend the Marble Palace, the Raj Bhavan and the Indian Museum, one of the oldest museums in the world.
It is also worth visiting the city of Pondicherry, very different from British India because of the French colonial domination, which lasted until 1954, which gave a particular characterization to the city.
Among the natural beauties of India we point out the small but fascinating state of Goa, situated on the west coast. Here there are paradisiacal beaches, with expanses of sand surrounded by palm trees. Another feature are the buildings of Portuguese colonial architecture, especially churches, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Goa has been a popular hippy destination.
Other unmissable natural wonders can be found in the state of Kerala. It occupies a narrow strip of India’s southwestern coast. Here, too, you’ll find paradisiacal landscapes, including dense palm forests and backwaters, a network of brackish lagoons and lakes that stretch for about 60 km parallel to the coast near Kochi.
Below are some useful tips for visiting India: the best time to go, how to get there and everything you need to know about travel.
When to go
In India the climate is very varied, given the vastness of the country. In general, the best months for a visit are those from October to March. In the extreme south, due to the monsoons, the best period is from January to September. For northeastern India the best months are from March to August, in the mountainous regions of Himachal Pradesh the best months are between May and September. In the northwestern Himalayan region, however, the monsoon season is more suitable.
Getting there and around
India’s main international airports are in Delhi and Mumbai. Many international flights also land in Calcutta. Flights from Europe arrive in India in the early hours of the morning.
Within the country one travels long distances with Indian Airlines, India’s main airline, which has an extensive network. For shorter distances one moves by train. The Indian railways are very famous and an experience on their trains is really unique.
Less recommended is bus travel, which is often crowded, uncomfortable and slow. Unless you choose to travel by private company buses, which also have air conditioning.
You will need a passport with a visa to enter India. Your passport must be valid for at least six months upon arrival. For any changes to the required residual validity of your passport, it is advisable to check in advance with the Embassy of India in Rome or the Consulate General of India in Milan, or with your travel agent.
The entry visa can only be issued by the diplomatic/consular offices of the country present in Italy. The visa application form must be filled out exclusively online at the website